“The key to the treatment of dementia is prevention,” says Dr. Gupta, CNN’s top medical correspondent and neurosurgeon, in his brand new book “Stay Sharp”.
Gupta says that human brain changes that lead to dementia have been proven to start 20 to 30 years before an official diagnosis, making preventing the illness a worthy and urgent goal.
“The same things you can do to lower your risk of Dementia are the same things that you can do to improve the quality of your life,” he says.
These are the three habits he recommends that you can start using to lower your chances of dementia now..
1 — Exercise
This is probably most vital thing for you to keep your brain healthy, Gupta says. “Exercise, both strength training and aerobic, is not just good for your body; it is even better for your brain,” he says.
“The connection with brain fitness and physical fitness is direct and powerful.” He recommends routine movement, whether that is taking the stairs instead of an elevator or doing difficult exercise. If you exercise a lot, Gupta suggests changing up your routine.
2 — Stay Social
“Social interaction is among the big predicting indicators of neurogenesis,” or the creation of new brain cells, which stops dementia, says Gupta.
“Social interaction is close to the top of the list for creating new brain cells. Connecting with other people has been known for a long time to be crucial. But we now understand that it relates to the release of hormones such as oxytocin, which help neurogenesis.”
3 — Get Better Sleep
“There is a rinsing that occurs in your brain when you sleep,” says Gupta. “You are basically removing metabolic waste. This happens when you are not sleeping too, but the process is almost 60 percent better when you are sleeping. You are clearing out tangles and plaque, and all the things that go into to dementia. You are helping your brain to run much more smoothly.”
So, how much do you need? “Seven to nine hours, if possible,” Gupta says. “If you are dreaming in the morning before you wake up, that is a pretty great sign. It means you spent a good amount of your night consolidating memories and getting through this rinsing.”
Author: Blake Ambrose